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Then Suddenly

Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Matthew 9:20‭-‬21 NRSV

One day, Jesus was approached by a heartbroken father, a synagogue leader named Jairus, whose daughter had just died. The man asked Jesus to come so she might live again. Jesus responds not with words but with action, arising to follow him.

Along the way, Jesus is interrupted–one of those "then suddenly" that seemed to happen to Jesus a lot. First interrupted by Jairus to bring his daughter to life, and now by a very sick woman. She was desperate, having spent all her money on physicians and treatments without relief. But Jesus didn't view it as an interruption but an opportunity to share God's physical and spiritual healing. Here's Jesus’ response, "Seeing her he said, 'Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.' And instantly the woman was made well.' (v. 22)

But the story isn't over; it's simply a pause in the narrative. This "then suddenly" event did not disrupt Jesus's journey to Jairus' house. He will go on to perform another miracle.

These verses invite us to look at our lives and the "then suddenly" opportunities we encounter daily. We may view those things as interruptions, but they are occasions to share God's love. The homeless and hungry person sitting on the sidewalk. The stressed and frantic parent in the grocery store with one screaming child and another pulling items from the shelves. Or the silently weeping person on the park bench. Will we walk by ignoring the need, or stop and try to help?

God, thank you for seeing us in our "then suddenly" moments. You feel our hurt and distress and extend your grace and loving-kindness. Help us, as the people created in your image, to see the opportunities in the interruptions. Open our eyes to see, our ears to listen, and our hearts to care, and whatever words we speak, may they be gentle, loving, and encouraging. We ask this in the name of our advocate Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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